Wednesday, 8 August 2012

A long bus ride



It wasn't so long ago that I wrote about a bus ride from Zagreb to Jajce. When I did I would have considered it quite a long trip. No longer. Last week was bookended by two 28 hour bus journeys. Sarajevo to Oldenburg, in northern Germany, and back again. In a little bus. 29 seats, 25 passengers and 3 drivers. As near to non-stop as was possible. Had the bus been able to reach the speed limit on the motorways the trip may have been many hours shorter but the seats did recline a little, the air-conditioning worked and it made no worrying noises! Needless to say this is my new benchmark for long-distance road travel.

It was a trip of many firsts, many of them being borders crossed by young people who had never been outside of Bosnia and Herzegovina before. I'll leave comments on their interest in the comparative price of chocolate for another post and instead say something about the reason for such a bus ride. We were attending a international event for teenagers called TeenStreet. Young people from as far afield as Finland and the Faroe Islands to us from BiH and near-neighbours from Bulgaria all converged on an exhibition centre in a town so close to the top of Germany you could almost smell the North Sea. The title for this year's event was NewSong40. That's why I thought I should find a few moments to put pen to paper, and words to music to capture the experience. The song came together in a just over an hour last Thursday morning, and got it's first proper play on the journey home on Saturday. I pushed past the effects of sleep deprivation to put the recording and video together on Monday. Hopefully the result gives you a glimpse of something unforgettable.

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